Drew Barrymore Opens Up About the Importance of Seeking Out 'Something Very Positive': 'We Need That' (Exclusive)

The actress and talk-show host believes nostalgia, magazines and animals can all bring a "sense of warmth and humor and joy."

<p>Arturo Holmes/WireImage</p> Drew Barrymore

Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is all about positive vibes.

The actress and talk show host, 49, recently chatted with PEOPLE about what she sees as being the best “antidote” to life’s sometimes more taxing responsibilities.

“I always find, whether it's on the show or in a magazine or on social media, nostalgia, like animals, give this sense of warmth and humor and joy,” Barrymore said. “We need that in the world, we need that, probably very scientifically, we need that hit of something very positive in our brain as we're processing the world at large, as well as our own unique little journeys that are always filled with a lot of pressures and a lot of taking care of people, and a lot of trying to navigate everything.”

<p>Willie Petersen</p> Drew Barrymore and Douglas for Ring

Willie Petersen

Drew Barrymore and Douglas for Ring

“I just think animals are the antidote to everything, they just make us feel so good,” added Barrymore, who recently partnered with Ring for the company's Ring Pet Portraits campaign. “Unlike a lot of things that make us feel good too, they're not very demanding either. We're so lucky to have them.”

Related: Drew Barrymore Remembers E.T. As Her 'First Imaginary Friend' 40 Years After Iconic Film (Exclusive)

Though gushing about her love of pets, the actress — who is a mom of two and pet mom to seven — admitted: “Although, I have cleaned up a lot of poop in my life. A lot.”

And while on the topic of nostalgia, Barrymore also opened up about her own role in 1982’s iconic film E.T. and said she considers the alien her  “first imaginary friend.”

<p>Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images</p> Drew Barrymore on the set of "E.T." in 1982

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Drew Barrymore on the set of "E.T." in 1982

“I think E.T. was definitely, sort of, my first imaginary friend that I also knew wasn't real,” Barrymore shared. “I fully understood, but I think we need to project a matter of a belief system in things. Whether it's imaginary or very real and tangible, it's part of a survival mechanism, as well as just an absolute pleasure to identify things that make us feel good, that we feel like believe in us, like we believe in them.”

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Barrymore recently took a trip down memory lane — from E.T. to becoming a mother — while celebrating PEOPLE’s 50th anniversary. 

Related: Drew Barrymore Brings Back 'My Boyfriend Is Out of Town' T-Shirt She Wore to Charlie’s Angels 2 Premiere in 2003 

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“I have been a lifelong lover of this magazine,” she said. “It's more than a magazine to me. It's been like a safe place, a real marker of what the heck is happening in my life. I've done covers of PEOPLE that have shown that I'm flawed and figuring it out, that I'm trying to get my life back on track, that I've become a mom, that I've gotten married, that I'm doing something right at work or starting a new endeavor in this talk show. At every interval that's been symbolic in my life, there is a PEOPLE magazine cover to show for it.”

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